September 20
Back from Dieppe

Yes, I know the Update is late this week. I was planning to write it on the flight home Monday, But I got wedged into a middle seat and typing became impossible because of the huge Frenchman sandwiching me on either side. Ever try to type with your arms pinned against an equally unhappy fellow who hasn't bathed in three days??

Yes, Dieppe was wonderful. For a general overview of this bi-annual event on the North Coast of France, check out our Favorite Festivals Pages. Meanwhile, here is a taste of the year 2000 event.

Dieppe Flying Fields

Susan flew home from England after dropping me at the ferry on Tuesday morning. The crossing to France took a brief two hours and landed within site of the festival. That's pretty cool! And better yet, I'm fortunate to have standing reservations at the hotel directly across the street and overlooking the field.

Dieppe Flying Fields

The basic concept of the Dieppe event is simple. Invite well known kiters from about 30 countries, give each a display tent, and invite them to fly on the grassy promenade between the old city wall and the English Channel. The festival lasts ten days and the crowds grow as the week goes on. Each night the fliers gather for dinner, stories, wine and camaraderie. Each day they fill the skies with an amazing collection of international kites.

Here are a few that caught my eye.

Tetra Nieto Bus Cassagne Crown
Transition Eddys Gressier Edo Gressier Edo Gressier Edo & Takeda Rok
Schwiemann Delta Spinning Snowflake Spinning Snowflake
BiPlane" Snowflake and Cody
Inflatable Guatemalan Kites

While the fields are the center of attention, the display tents are the social focal point each day. This is where the public can get up close to look at kites and meet the international celebrities. Kids line up for autographs. And arriving fliers make the rounds to greet old friends or make new ones.

French Booth Belgium and Canada Booth Malaysia Booth

Willi Koch Eli Shavit Mikio Toki and Morihiro Takeda Christine Schwarting Andre Cassagne

Friends are what kiting events are really about. Dieppe is one of the best because it gathers so many friends from so many places. In addition to Europe, North America, and Japan, fliers attended from Israel, Cuba, Guatemala, Indonesia, Columbia, Australia, New Zealand, and Viet Nam.

During the course of the week, Albanian kiter Zamir Mati records events on a huge poster.

Kiters pose for rough portraits and then the faces are added to action poses in the larger panorama. Zamir has a great eye and captures the heart of the event. If you look closely at the enlargement, you can see him coloring red eagle banners below a huge crown. Right below his hand is a good looking fellow from Oregon...

Zamir Mati

Monday morning, I took the 6 am kiter's bus to Paris and dragged my baggage into the airport. It was there that I met my oversized flying companions and came up with the perfect excuse to sleep, watch a movie, and publish these Update late. I arrived home late Monday night and have been scrambling ever since.

October will be crazy-busy. We have a local festival here in Lincoln City this weekend and a quick trip to Dallas on Sunday night. The following week is the AKA convention in Florida. On the way out, we stop in Chicago to perform in Mayor Daly's Fall Kite Festival. We return the 9th of October, but fly down to California for Huntington Beach four days later. And then the next weekend we go to Atlantic Beach in North Carolina. So that's six kite events in the next five weeks.

Which of course, increases the odds that we'll see you somewhere....

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